This article is part of our PUBG series.
After having just three major PUBG tournaments in the last seven months, we’ve now got two in consecutive weeks. After 16 of the best teams fought tooth and nail at IEM Katowice during the PUBG Invitational last weekend, many of them traveled right over to Kiev for StarSeries i-League 2018.
With five matches a day over the four-day tournament, there will be plenty of action and plenty of maneuvering between these teams. The format is fundamentally the same as IEM Katowice, with points being awarded for placements and kills. The lone difference being that placement scale goes from 250 to 25 as opposed to 400 to 23 and kills are worth six instead of 10, as the teams are playing 20 games instead of eight.
With that out of the way, let’s get right into what transpired on opening day.
Team Liquid rules the day with three (yes, three) chicken dinners
Despite not having played in a tournament since IEM Oakland in November, Team Liquid came out with quite the statement on Thursday. While they didn’t get a win until the third game of the day, they surely made their presence known from the start with a blistering amount of kills in each and every round. While only finishing 6th and 7th in those opening two games, Liquid led with 14 and 12 kills, respectively. In fact, they never had less than 10 kills in a match all day.
Kills are well and good, but chicken dinners are what win tournaments. Liquid was no stranger to this knowledge and put up back-to-back-to-back wins to close out the day. They added in 16, 10, and 12 kills to make it a ridiculous 64 kills on the day. In five games. To put that in perspective, the most kills in any PUBG tournament prior to this was the 57 from AVANGAR at IEM Katowice last week, and that was across eight games. Liquid was simply on fire Thursday.
While they could surely flame out in the final three days, building up a 362-point lead in a single day is quite the feat. For comparison's sake, 416 points separate the 4th place Team Liquid from the 16th place Luminosity Gaming. Every team will no doubt be gunning for Liquid throughout the rest of the weekend to try and topple this beast.
There are teams other than Liquid in this tournament?
While Liquid was by far the best team of the day, the rest of the pack is a bit tougher to evaluate. FaZe Clan and Team Vitality followed up top-10 placing in Katowice by finishing in second and third, respectively, on the first day. Each took a win in the other two games that Liquid didn’t win and overall looked like the strongest teams outside of the Europeans. FaZe Clan, in particular, seems to continue to play to their strengths by locking down positions in the final zone and picking enemies off with ease. This allowed them to never finish lower than 8th in all fives matched Thursday.
One team worth mentioning outside of the above three is AVANGAR, the winner of IEM Katowice just four days ago. While they had a great run at that tournament, things have been incredibly rough for the Russian squad this time around. While they started off somewhat strong with a 3rd place finish in the first game, things got progressively worse as the day progressed. They finished in 6th, 8th, 15th, and 14th to close out Thursday, which left them in 11th place in the overall standings. There is plenty of time to bounce back, but they certainly aren’t looking too hot thus far.
Liquid might be on top of the world at the moment, but with three days and 15 matches to go, just about anything can happen. Day 2 will kick of at 8 a.m. ET with a third-person perspective show match before the real action gets underway directly after at 9 a.m. ET.